Impact of Harvesting on Sediment and Runoff Production on a Piedmont Site in Alabama
This study was performed in Lee County, Alabama to investigate the impact of harvesting a 20-year-old loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) plantation on sediment and runoff yield. Sediment and runoff yield responses on harvest areas was compared to that of undisturbed areas. Impacts were evaluated by establishing and monitoring isolated small plots, 2-m by 5.5-m, over a 10-month period following the harvest prescription. Statistically significant sediment yield increases greater than 3-fold (360 percent) were observed from harvest areas in comparison to undisturbed areas. Similar to sediment yield increases, runoff yield increased 3-fold (350 percent) on harvest areas in comparison to undisturbed areas. The rate of sediment yield increase from undisturbed areas remained constant over the study period, whereas sediment yield from harvest areas increased dramatically foliowing high-energy storms.